The night bear

Chapter 1

I nearly passed Pete by without saying ‘Hi.’ I only looked twice because I was checking him out, but I hardly recognised him.

It had been a busy shift for me at the hospital where I’m a nurse, and I was finally on my way home when he lumbered in through the doors. He’d moved into my neighborhood about five months ago. He was always cute; 5’ 10”, smiley brown eyes, stocky build, slightly curly dark hair, permanent 5 o’clock shadow, but he seemed to have put on loads of weight really quickly. He used to be about 205 lbs, but he seemed to have put on about 60 lbs in six weeks. The extra weight looked good on him. Made him even cuter perhaps, which was why I was checking him out. Me likey!

He smiled shyly as we passed each other and it struck me then that he was Pete from round my way.

“Hi Pete,” I said cheerily.

“Hey Kira,” he replied, his cheeks reddening, thrusting his hands in his pockets.

We were only on ‘Hello’ terms so it wasn’t unusual for him not to stop and chat. I feasted my eyes on his juicy rear as he went off. Nice.

I saw him speak to the receptionist, who called over a nurse, a friend of mine called Liz. Liz led him away.

That night I gave Liz a call. I knew Pete’s hospital visit was none of my business, but I just wanted to make sure he was okay.

“You had a patient at about 3 today, Pete Brannigan. He’s a friend of mine. Don’t tell me the details but I just wanted to know if he’s alright.”

“The fat guy? He was referred to us for a blood test. Apparently he’s been putting on weight really quickly. He says he’s been getting up in the night and pigging out. We’ll check if he’s lacking in any nutrients, or if there’s anything wrong with his thyroid, anything that’s making him do it. It’s probably not medical though, more likely to be psychological.”

Trust Liz to tell me more than she should. Poor Pete. It sure was a lot of weight in a short time. He was a writer, so sitting at home at his computer all day with snacks on hand and no exercise was bound to put more weight on him eventually. Besides, he was never skinny to begin with, and in his mid-thirties his metabolism was probably slowing down. Night eating on top of that wasn’t a good idea. Not that I didn’t like him bigger. In fact, I was in danger of developing a serious crush.

As I hung up the phone, I heard a noise outside. I looked out of the window and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a huge black bear. He was eating something from a trashcan up the street. It was early summer so it wasn’t very dark outside yet and I could see clearly. I was scared but transfixed.

He stood on his hind legs to rummage for food and then sat down to eat his booty of left over pizza. He was almost adorable as he ate his cheese feast pizza slices with comically good table manners. I noticed that he was pretty fat. His huge round belly bulged out. He looked soft and cuddly. I had to remind myself that he probably wasn’t. If anyone tried to hug him, he’d most likely maul them to death! Still it was tempting. Especially for a girl like me who likes her men bear-shaped.

I wondered what to do. This wasn’t an area usually frequented by bears. He must have escaped from somewhere. I considered calling the animal welfare people so they could take him back safely to where he belonged. I didn’t want anyone panicking and shooting him or something. He only wanted something to eat. He wasn’t hurting anyone. But if the animal welfare took him away I wouldn’t be able to watch him and in the end I ended up watching him for over an hour.

He ate and ate, going from trashcan to trashcan including mine, until there was nothing edible left. He licked his paws clean and then lolloped away on all fours. I sighed. I was strangely pleased that he seemed to particularly enjoy my leftover lemon sesame chicken. And at least it hadn’t gone to waste.

The bear returned every couple of nights, week after week. Watching him became a major interest for me. I sometimes even declined offers of nights out with my friends because I didn’t want to miss him.

No one else in the neighborhood seemed aware of his visits. He’d just come, eat everything there was to eat and then leave again. I saw a documentary on the nature channel about Black Bears one night. I learnt that from May to December, bears concentrate on gaining as much weight as they can to see them through winter hibernation. Their metabolisms slow so they can store as much fat as possible. They become eating machines and unlike humans, there’s no harm to their health if they become massively obese.

A bear can never be ‘too fat’. When they emerge from their dens in March, the excess fat has been used up. I was right in thinking my bear is male. A female would probably have had some cubs with her. Bears who venture into urban areas can get really fat because of all the waste food we throw out. They’re pretty clever and resourceful. One stole bags of shopping from someone’s car. He was even fatter than my bear.

Pete, meanwhile, was continuing to gain weight. Whenever I saw him I marvelled at the way his massive belly had grown, swelling out, pushing down the waistband of his jeans, which were being replaced frequently by larger sizes. He was gorgeous. A human bear. Fall was coming and Pete looked to be about 350 lbs.

One night in November, I was returning home from a late shift. It was about 10 pm and I’d brought home a pizza for my dinner. I’d got an extra large one so I’d have plenty of leftovers for my bear. As I approached my driveway, there he was! He was tucking into some chocolate chip cookies from my trash. He turned his head when he heard me and fixed me with his dark eyes. He sniffed and turned his whole body to face me.
5 chapters, created 15 years , updated 54 years
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